So far the web is centralised in spider models in its most extensive part, evolving as a network of concerted digital social media platforms increasingly expanding over time. It has also become the default setting for the world societies and economy to communicate, exchange value and expand its growth.
Despite alternatives the likes of wikipedia and more importantly the new crypto inception models powered by blockchain technology and ideologies that will allow a healthy P2P circular economy, for now the internet is becoming increasingly visual and Instagram is one of the leading platforms (even if owned by Facebook).
Recent studies show that Instagram is still growing at a good pace, and “will gain 1.6 million Americans under the age of 25” throughout the year 2018. In fact, Instagram statistic shows a healthy performance and growth and the strenght of this social media top player. As of September 2017 the main active social media platform and the leading global mobile photo sharing network reached 800 million monthly active users, up from 600 million in December 2016. The app is probably the most popular social network worldwide as we speak, and has become the end destination powerhouse for publishers and influencers along with Twitter in the western world with exception of China.
But what makes Instagram so popular between users and brands alike?
The answer must be found in how the social network is built and focused on. Due to the app / social network visual nature and high user engagement rate, Instagram is also a valuable social media traffic and marketing tool. As of March 2016, 98 percent of fashion brands had an Instagram profile and have been using it for different approaches, from branding to storytelling and as a way to engage with its new features. As of December 2016, the average number of image brand posts on Instagram was an impressive 27.9 posts per month.
From the brands side, Instagram has been very careful with its advertisement strategy so far and its ads appear in the user’s feed organically, so it doesn’t interfere with the user’s experience or perception. Instagram is mostly a powerful UI and UX driven platform that keeps a simple yet visual wealthy platform. Instagram main advantage is that it creates value for users that is easily usable and at the same time offers advertisers the opportunity to reach their users in a seamless and effective way.
The platform has increasingly attracted brands through its new Instagram Stories, launched in August 2016 and a feature that changed the social feeds across the internet. This simple to use feature that was developed partly at the same time by Instagram and Facebook lets users/brands to post micro video or photos to tell a story which vanishes after 24 hours. The launch of Instagram Stories was partly a way to keep up with Snapchat. However, this has been done in a way that keeps the platform uniqueness and less teenager-based as Snapchat. Instagram Stories has become a successful key feature and has grown to more than 250 million users since the launch.
The micro stories format reflects the rise of the internet micro-moment and it is on Instagram where it is becoming a default setting for most businesses to have any kind of meaningful digital effective presence online. Social media players are dialling up their visual and real time strategies and at the same time leveraging the related eCommerce capabilities. Instagram platform allows and pushes businesses in a way to go beyond viewing social as a brand-building platform but also granting simple tools that users and brands know how to use without the need of agencies or advertisers. Being on Instagram, and being creative, is now the price of admission for brands, businesses and its reach is still growing.